"It is the truth." Asa ducked. Inevitably his repeated statement earned its acknowledgement. His nerves, white-hot wires, forced the muscles into convulsions again. Reeling under this new barrage of Force-lightning, Asa clawed the fingers into his guts and fought to keep a steady posture. Futile. He prostrated.
The next zap made him fall helplessly on his side, limbs numb from pain. At least she didn't burn me. His wandering gaze took glimpses of still intact clothing and skin out of a rising blur, while he gathered strength to repeat his confession:"It is the truth." Asa didn't know if the two interrogators could catch his whispered words.
Before he was swallowed by a black hole, he heard his master's voice: "He doesn't seem to deliberately be a traitor, Mighella."
The black hole spit him out in an unknown room. He lay on his back under an unknown sheet. No shirt, neither trousers. Nothing. And of course, no cigarettes.
Having been in more then one tricky situation before, he took his time to investigate carefully where he was. Obviously, not much time had gone by yet, but the dullness, left over from the grilling, ebbed. So far his groping hands told, no additional manipulations had taken place. This was to be expected by the way - Master Lex was rigorous, not insane. Continuing the check up, Asa's fingers crumpled a coarse organic fabric - bed and sheet were of average quality, not tacky like in his own quarters, but nothing extraordinary either. So was the rest of the sparse furniture a fast look around informed him. It smelled of impersonality, an air standard for the barracks of Black Sun's hands.
Then he became aware of the sole source of light in the room. A skylight! Trying to focus his still disobedient eyes at the cloud-veiled sky the window displayed, he realised it was beyond a hearty jump. Okay, what about doors...
"There you are, Asa Naga."
In Asa's sight appeared the well-known silhouette of Master Lex's body guard. She had entered the room from the single exit it possessed.
"You should be able to talk and sit by now."
No doubt, she was well informed about the after-effects of her Force-operation. Now, even if she could have misjudged his physical state, his pride would have forced him to pretend there was no weakness. With the certain support of his elbows and hands Asa sat upright. He grinned devotion. " 'lo Mighella. How did I deserve the honour of a visit by Black Sun's first blade? Is Master Lex asking for me?"
As if it would be a sufficient response, the woman said plainly: "This is my apartment."
Oh, he thought, toy again. Could be it was hasty to exclude the possibility of an 'extra' punishment. Master Lex might find no pleasure in amputations or implants, but he could have made him prey of the guard-men... brief sequences of videos originating of Ma Kean's prospering trade flashed in his mind. The scar which divided his left brow itched in discomfort.
Mighella sat down on the rim of the - her - bed and presented him a handy bowl. "Some water. Drink. It will help you to recover."
When he grabbed the bowl, their fingers touched for a moment - the water made a timid swash.
Eh? Has Asa's blue Chiss ass landed in the bed of a disobedient body guard, planning her private business? He scrutinised the woman over the rim of the bowl while he drank slowly. Some might consider the Dathomir Witch disgusting, but these morons were not used to a female beauty which lay in moving nimbly and elegantly with a weapon. Or these dimwits couldn't value the colour of her skin - monochromatic grey in different shades like the shores on Mon Calamari ...and perhaps glistening the same way when wet... added Asa as a little after-thought. He took the bowl from his lips. "There is a saying that your people colour their hair with the blood of the Rancors to this marvellous dark-red."
"You're finished Naga. Give me the bowl."
He deliberately touched her fingers while handing it back over. Again the tiny, involuntary reaction before she withdraws her hands resolutely. Asa reached out and softly brushed over her cheek. Her stare back at him was unblinking, however, she held her breath. This was encouraging. He slipped his hand under the load of dark-red hair, around her neck. A small pressure, a tender forcing to bring her head closer to his… sad that her tongue did not meet the mute dialogue his suggested. She did not even respond to his kiss at all.
Asa released the woman, folded his hands innocently in his lap and put on a pardon-demanding grin. Mighella rose and left him without bothering to break the oppressive silence. As she reached the door, he made one last attempt. "No-one, who has not been less than a parsec from a supernova, could describe your eyes really."
The witch turned. A stern gaze entrusted him to the care-taking of the black hole again.
The next time Asa awoke from a noise. It must have been early evening since Ralltiir's sky in the dormer window tinted its clouds mostly red and yellow. He sat upright – fairly easier than the time before, he noticed - and blinked in the twilight to make out the source of the faint sound.
Mighella had come again. He blinked another several times to catch the meaning of the picture his eyes perceived - the Dathomir Witch was undressing. Which was a surprising metamorphosis, her quiet observer found. Piece after piece of her complicated battle-dress disappeared and so the broad shoulders, the muscled arms, the sinewy legs emerged. She appeared fine, tall and dark in the fading light.
Speechless with delight Asa could only fold back the sheet. He felt his blood gushing to his groin. A slow, guttural laughter - Mighella accepted his inviting gesture. With a connoisseur's touch she stroked the azure skin of his slender thighs, and sat down at his side to fondle his erection. Suddenly, playfully she pinched his belly. But before Asa could protest, he felt he her fragile waist under his grip - she cuddled in his arms.
"Mighella... sweet Mighella..." Asa struggled for breath and composure after being released from a deep kiss. A thousand questions spun in his head like pilot pupils on their first unaided flight: Why me? I'm just a rotten enforcer.
"You're so cute." There was still an edge of laughter in Mighella's husky purring. She buried her fingers in his blonde curls and silenced him with more kisses.
Her possessive tongue and the urging, demanding motions of her body against his compelled Asa to enclose her in a tight embrace. She wriggled when felt trapped, but he rolled over and tried to mount her.
Giving a 'not-so-rash-my-dear' laugh, Mighella shook him off. Positioning herself on top again, she guided his hands to her breasts.
"You're right, I'd forgotten them almost," whispered Asa regretfully and filled his hands with their plentiness. Just to enjoy this feeling for a moment. After been sated of playing with fingers and cheeks against the supple flesh, he put out his light-blue tongue to her breast. Mighella's nipples moulded like small pearls into it. He sucked and licked and sipped until her quickened breath became a moan. Asa moved a knee between Mighella's legs; his hands grabbed her well rounded bottom.
This time Mighella accepted his wanting. She straightened up, her hands clasped his, then she impaled herself with a single, hard thrust. Tossing back her head, she sent to the ceiling one of her guttural sounds.
The overwhelming feeling coming from this intimate linking, and the rich sound the woman voiced her lust with, thrilled Asa to no end. His hands slid from her bottom to her hips, supporting their movement against his. All too early he found himself at the brink of climax, quite contrary to his wish to dwell on the sight of her erect body with the rocking breasts and the golden eyes half closed in self-forgotten rapture while he was deep inside her. Asa moaned yearningly.
A dark-red canopy of fragrant hair enclosed his head. Mighella disattached his hands from her hips and fixed his wrists just above his head. He felt her sweat-wet belly on his, her nipples nudging his chest with every thrust. She almost lay on him. Flickers in his imagination rose: an impenetrable jungle, the air humming with the sound of a slow, passionate lovemaking. Perhaps Mighella perceived the same image; perhaps she had a name for it. Dathomir. In the damp, reddish twilight a pair of golden eyes hovered above him like bright stars. He wasn't sure if they dulled suddenly. He wasn't sure if there was a sob and a shiver in the body on top of him. But with a strained, moaning grasp, Asa let go the final chord under the rhythm they'd shared as he ejaculated. The wave of release left his body prickling in blissful exhaustion.
He covered their bodies with the sheet, hands heavy and unsure. The witch let go a sigh. "Asa." She nestled on his side, burrowing her face on his shoulder.
Feeling happy, he brushed over her head and back, "You ain't talkative, are you?"
The answer was just a closer snuggling to his side, but she lifted one lid to watch him.
"Like this Maul," chuckled Asa, "Too stingy with words."
A single yellow eye looked at him questioningly.
"The assassin I told you about. Who abused me and Garga for joining our club to kill Darnada," reminded Asa. He grimaced in remembrance of the inquiry, then continued with a lighter tone: "There are some more similarities between you and him: his face is also tattooed. But fierce red and black, not beautiful, like your patterns are. And I doubt his body is perfectly coloured like yours." His hand caressed once again her enticing curved side - Mighella wrapped a leg around him - "Then he has yellow eyes... but these are not to compare with yours. Darker, gloomier. Evil eyes. Evil... eyes..."
The last words of Asa faded in a murmur, when he bent over the woman and tenderly touched her eye with his lips, the eye which had watched his explanations attentive. Before finally kissing her good-night he chuckled again, content with his lucky-strike. "S'pose he's a lousy lover. Determined like a droid, clever beyond immorality and a very, very good fighter. Only Jedi or eunuchs could be that way."
The restless fingers of the fortresses' searchlights tickled his closed lids and something else tickled his nose. Asa opened his eyes and saw a thick braid of dark-red colour, a bit in a mess... Mighella! He gingerly removed the hair.
Force-sensitives are sensitive to any motion - Mighella stirred, ending Asa's delightful contemplation on the sleeper to his side. "Good evening, my little sorceress," he smiled.
The fine aftertaste of the past hours, the acrid, plant-like scent of her hair, disappeared. Like he was just another piece of bed-linen, the woman detached herself from his embrace, sat up at the bed's rim and commanded the rooms lighting.
Bitter spit collected on his tongue. Don't forget to lock your toy to the bedpost.
The witch turned her head.
He looked into a motionless mask of grey tattoo. His marred brow sent little stabbing signals: there are zillions of ways to obtain information. Not all of them unpleasant. Darnada's body guard Sinya loved such tasks... But, Asa corrected himself, she was a Twi’lek, devouring entertainment.
"Mighella, ..." You're kidding girl, don't you? He stared back, encountering her stern gaze challenging with his blue eyes. "Mighella," he rose as he started again, "do you know what will happen with Darnada's beat?"
"Are you thinking of succeeding him?"
"I am the last one of his gang. I've connections, know how the business runs down there – I was no bloody errant boy!" Asa knelt at her side.
The Dathomir Witch cast her eyes down and prepared to stand up. "It is time to go. The bathroom is at the right side when you leave this room."
"Yes," he said, when wrapped his arms around Mighella to nuzzle her back and cup her breasts.
"It is time to…."
"Yes." His voice was muffled by her hair, because he had buried his face in it, greedily drinking of its perfume. The next moment he had thrown her down - surprisingly easy for she was Master Lex's well trained body guard. Asa made himself comfortable between her legs. Mighella, now on her back, tried to kick, but Asa caught her leg and took it like a pillow in his arm, fixing it into a folded position.
"Asa! Don't you... !"
"So is it true? On Dathomir are only woman allowed to caress a woman’s other mouth?" Asa recited one of the common superstitions of the galaxy. His lips brushed softly over the inner side of her thigh.
Leaning with his cheek on the makeshift pillow, he watched her vagina. Thoughtfully he let his thumb run over the cleft in the perfectly vaulted mount. It was a beautiful sight, despite it being clean and sheer skin, not veiled under a bush of dark-red hair as he would have loved it. Asa opened the gap. It revealed its delicate rose colour and the glistening liquors covering its surface. An unknown fruit, freshly cut. He bent down to lap the juice out.
Her voice lost any peremptory tune, pitched high - Asa hoped the abrupt words in her native language were mere cries of lust, not imprecations. He became aware how her uneasiness rose with every sensation of his tongue on her. Asa finished peaceably and shoved his body over hers. Immediately Mighella wrapped her arms and legs tightly, almost desperately, around him.
Her denial to give in to the arousal had pressed tears from under Mighella's closed eyelids. Asa kissed them away and penetrated her softly. Then he tried his best to undo her tension with slow but deep trusts and the soothing touch of his hands and lips.
As soon as Mighella moved her pelvis welcomingly up toward his, Asa found it the right moment to utter the question nagging him since the afternoon: "I wonder in which garden I've been poaching. Master Lex perhaps?"
The witch snorted. "I secure his ass. I don't warm it."
"O-o-lth?" she echoed, disdaining.
"Dig it." Asa gave a lightly laugh. "However, could you imagine following a Vigo, even if he has blue skin and must build his beat up from scratch?"
A knocking at the quarter's door relieved her of the necessity to answer: "Mighella? Master Lex is asking for you."
"Oolth," both stated in unison beyond audibility.
"Mighella?" The voice repeated respectfully outside the door. "He'll be joining the late evening council of the Vigos, to present that enforcer's witness..."
Mighella closed Asa's mouth with her hand and informed the messenger aloud, "I'm coming. In an instant... Wait for me."
"You bitch!" Asa chuckled after she removed her hand. He had decoded what she wanted and increased frequency in his movement. Mighella came, but not hard enough for him. Rising on his knees he pulled her lower body over his thighs with a strong grip in the hollow of her knees.
Oolth retired: "Take your time. We meet with Master Lex in the gallery before the hall."
"Thank you, Oolth."
Asa saw Mighella mangling her lips to hinder a moan that tried to add itself uncalled in her answer while he drove into her. He too drew breath through gritted teeth, fighting with the urge to voice his lust. A drop of sweat detached from his brow to fall down at Mighella's belly.
This time the climax took them both by surprise like a colliery explosion - for a few moments Asa's world was painted black. Perhaps a belated greeting of the third-degree inquiry he had endured this day. Mighella's cool voice came from the rim of the bed before he was back in focus: "As I said: the bathroom is at the right side when you leave this room. You'll find your clothes there too. Cleaned."
Asa stretched his blue limbs between the rumpled sheets and did send her a cheeky grin.
"Vigo Morn is gone," said Mighella as she went out of the room.
Kind of news. Asa stroked the fissure at his left brow with his index finger. Then he folded the arms under his head, to watch the rays of the searchlights appearing and disappearing in the window on the ceiling above him. Like on an oversized control screen they lifted rhythmically contours of dark-red clouds out of the amorphous night. Some noise form the bathroom indicated that Mighella was taking a shower. He smiled to the vague mirror image of him the sky window reflected. Anyway. When I find a new cigarette packet in my pocket then I'll know she likes me.
"All of you!" cut the piercing but bored voice of Master Lex accompanied by Mighella's blade in the small gap between the pugnacious craned heads of Vigo Tillach and Vigo Narees, to continue some degrees more bored in the abrupt silence: "Sit down. I'd prefer Mighella didn't have to put an end to your petty bickering, but she will if necessary. Permanently."
Asa had entered the hall in the wake of the two. Bodyguard and master had not wasted a second gaze on him after a pithy greeting before the doors of the hall. Instead they went into the isolation of a quiet negotiation. To see Mighella now guarding Lex, acting as his perfect shadow, with Black Sun's master getting the upper hand on the Vigos, made Asa rub his brow briefly.
He moved forward to get a better view of the woman. From the corner of his eye, he saw a dutiful figure shaking head. Oolth. The command of the master's secretary reminded Asa to wait for his signal. He stepped back to resume the well-worn routine as part of the pack, distance.
Whee Tillach, the old hedgehog, produced an almost childlike outcry: "Tell us what's happening, Master Lex! Someone is killing us!"
Asa yawned. Somehow it was entertaining to observe the competition of the suddenly tamed Vigos for a positive acknowledgement by the head of Black Sun.
"This is Asa Naga, one of Darnada's enforcers. He saw this assassin," gestured the master from his highly placed chair.
The witness took breath before reeling off the account of Darnada's end. "It was a man..." Just a man? "but like no other man. I don't know where he came from, but he said his name was Maul. That's all... just Maul. He had these tattoos all over his face. And his only weapon was a lightsabre, a blade on both ends. He moved like..." Mighella? Almost... "nothing I've ever seen. He told Darnada he was going to kill him. Told him right to his face." Asa tried to wet his dry lips. "He massacred everyone. Darnada himself last." The finale he tried to deliver slowly and distinctly: "And then, when I thought it was my turn... he let me go. I asked him why he would let me live, and he told me, 'Someone needs to.' Those were his words exactly. As soon as I got off the station, it exploded. Maul's ship was bearing down on me - I'm sure it was his - and then it disappeared. He was just... gone." Driven by his speech Asa snatched the cloak of an imaginary adversary in the air before him. He clenched his fist until it hurt.
Shuffling feet, slight coughing - the disbelief of the council of Vigos was almost palpable. A vague anger welled up in Asa; helplessly swung his head. As accusations hit his ear, of relying for better story telling on the mind-enhancers Darnada had been selling, rage cocked him: There is a difference between you and Darnada. His hands never must take the cheap crap for pushing. We always got free access to first quality stuff.
But before he was able to open his mouth, Master Lex took the lead of the debate again. "Quiet. If I doubted the veracity of his story, he wouldn't be alive to repeat it to you."
Yes, nodded Asa, Lex judged a message by its bearer. He always saw the man behind the words - this was the clue to his leadership. This and the subtle sense of this runaway Jedi-half-breed for the balance of forces.
"This assassin - this Maul – told Asa the Vigos were at war." The boredom was sharpened to annoyance when the master rose from his chair to overlook his subordinates. "That Black Sun battled itself. Could that be so?" He held the whole auditory in the frosty grip of his blue eyes. No-one moved, no-one gave a sign of life. Two unhealthy red dashes appeared at Lex's cheeks: "Perhaps one of my Vigos is brazen enough to attempt a coup. You mother Dean? Or you Dardo? ..."
Asa's thoughts drifted back to his report. He admitted to himself that he had not been able to make understandable what he himself had experienced. Not yet. Perhaps if he'd had a little more time to ponder about this Maul...
Meanwhile, he noticed Master Lex coming to summarise their recent knowledge about the enemy and to begin to outline his plans in general terms for the mute auditory: "... Obviously the assassin meant to drive us together to eliminate us in one stroke. It will appear we have been taken in by his plot. Together we are stronger. My fortress is nigh unbreachable. A legion of Black Sun's finest stands watch. ..."
Asa fingered for a cigarette and sat down at the stairs of the gallery to watch Mighella. Didn't Lex mention her for a moment? My, like a lovesick Corellian I can't take my eyes off of her, he thought and inhaled the heavy smoke deeply.
A timid voice asked: "And in the meantime? What are we to do?" Sluggishly Asa's eyelids fluttered open. He could not make out for sure who the speaker was. Fear has no face, he told himself.
"We wait." In Asa's trance-sharpened ears Master Lex' answer possessed the sound of fatherly confidence. What threats ever would come, they will come to an end here.
"No. They won't."
Asa lifted his gaze. The last pictures of a black and red striped dream mixed with the silhouettes of a waiting council to flow away in every direction of his perception like puddles of quicksilver. Surprised he looked for Mighella. The attitude of the Dathomir Witch conveyed an alarming tension. She stepped back to leave the room. He jumped up, to run to her. Then he realised the meaning of the noise around him: "He is here!" Asa made a full circle to look for the hall's entrance.
Maul's body was wholly tattooed. At least its upper part.
Asa could not take his eyes away from this sight, even while he began to move. Step by step, up the last stairs, he followed in the direction Mighella had gone. Eventually he turned; a metal gate stopped his way... Lex. "Master?" Asa seized the grill. Its coolness sent a sobering flash through him. "What are you doing Master Lex?"
The addressed gave him a tilted gaze of amazement.
Mighella, where is Mighella? "Please I've seen what he does! Don't leave us to him!" Asa reached through the gate for his master's sleeve.
Lex didn't bother to shake him off. "Black Sun survives as long as I survive. But you and the Vigos, Asa, you and the Vigos are expendable. Your deaths will buy me the time I need to escape."
The drawling sound of the voice switched Asa's angst to hate. I see! The master was 'gratifying' me with the tail of his apt guard. He took back his hand to shake the barrier and hissed: "Curse you! I came here to warn you and this is how you repay me?!"
"Loyalty is often its own reward. Goodbye, Asa." The master walked absentmindedly down the hallway into the underground of the fortress. His blonde head disappeared in the darkness.
Reluctantly the dismissed took his trembling hands from the iron gate and turned to overlook the hall, where Maul's red flashing double-sabre was collecting what Master Lex was willing to pay.
Asa narrowed his eyes to focus at the scenery...
He found himself standing small on a green field which unfolded into almost boundless distance. It's limits, little but distinct walls, waited at the edge of perception. From the darkness outside the circle of glaring light the lamps above the table provided, a figure differed. Pointing a stick at him. Or at the red ball in front of him. Or the second, yellow, he knew somewhere behind him? Carambolage. The game where he had often seen Darnada brilliantly guiding the cue with his sensitive foot-fingers, driving the balls into intricate patterns according to the mysterious rules over the green fabric. Asa concentrated his awareness on the player. Yet he could not pull his face into the light. Instead the room around him filled itself with levels of interconnections – as if flight routes in a galaxy became visible. The unknown bent down, took aim, then the ball approached Asa. He was amazed how the delicate web around the shadow-player responded to every motion of him. Who could be so skilled? "... No!..." My love, did you see this? He lifted his hands in a gesture between underlining the importance of his discovery and being frightened by it, as the red ray touched him.
Mighella stopped when she received the motion in the Force like a blast. "He's drawing closer." She looked back to make out their pursuer. The escape-tunnel was black and the stranger nothing more than a faint tickle of her Force-sense after the turmoil in the hall. You're cautious, bastard.
The double sound of steps on the metal of the gangway ceased. She felt master and secretary looking at her. Without turning her head answered she the mute question: "Go."
"I took you from Dathomir to kill for me, Mighella. Not to die for me needlessly. Come away." Master Lex’s voice was a formal version of annoyance.
"Go," she gestured eyes focused on the mouth of the tunnel and draw her sword. Asa, you stupid Chiss, I did love you. The silence in her back asked if this was her final decision.
Eventually the two men continued their way – Oolth a bit earlier, a bit faster. Oolth. She smiled as she detected him cover himself in a hidden notch behind his fragmentary access to the Force before everyone and everything here in this cave. He's clever out of his fear. So he had been as a lover: emphatic, dutiful. Therefore he had one day introduced her to his master. Smooth skin, blonde hair and ice-blue eyes - master Lex the cool and ruthless chief. Alexi... In the precious moments, when he allowed himself to let go in her arms, he was just Alexi. However, in the end he was seeking not protection from her, not restoration on Corellia. She knew he was bored to death. Don't be afraid, I can't die for you needlessly, thought Mighella, we all die anyway.
From the darkness of the cave's entrance an even darker silhouette detached and ignited a double edged light sabre of blood red colour.
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